VIDEO: How to Read Cigar Box Guitar Tablature

In this video, Glenn Watt walks you through reading the style of tablature he creates for 3-string cigar box guitars. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of tablature and want to get started playing the songs in our CBG tablature library here at, this video is for you!

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14 thoughts on “VIDEO: How to Read Cigar Box Guitar Tablature”

  1. Good Morning Mal,

    Thanks for the shoutout! We’re glad that you can find some use out of the videos and tabs that we post.

    We can certainly take a crack at tabbing that song out. We’ll post it here if we’re able to suss it out.

    Have a great day!

  2. Hi I am a 76 year old guy from the UK your.lessons realy help guys like me.I was wondering if it would be possible for you to tab finger style for John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulder .It always reminds my of my son

  3. Not always. Basic tablature doesn’t have a way to notate rhythm or picking style. Finding a picking rhythm for each song is partly a matter of personal taste, partly a matter of how you have heard the song done previously.

  4. Glenn,
    Thank you for the lesson. Would you please provide the Tabs for House of the Rising Son?
    Thank you

  5. That is how guitar tablature is always presented, whether for 3-string or 6-string. The highest-pitched string is the top line, and the lowest-pitched is the bottom line.

  6. Just got into CBG’s and found your site, wow what a wealth of knowledge.
    Why, in the diagram, is the top line, the bottom string of the guitar and then the bottom line the top string? That’s a little confusing.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the three lines of the diagram represent the three strings of the guitar?


  7. Hey thanks for this and the other Tab songs, fantastic !! This is so good, I am just learning and this really helps. Any chance when your doing new song tabs that you could consider doing some Rolling Stones songs as many are in Open G tuning, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up etc.

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